— Mark Hunter (@chimairamark) December 10, 2013
I emailed Mark straightaway, wondering what his inquiry could possibly be. Mark wrote me back, explaining that they were planning to shoot a couple of music videos for their new album, Crown of Phantoms, and wanted to know if I wanted to be a part of it. I immediately said yes. Mark put me in touch with his Director/Photographer Alex Morgan, and we started plotting out ideas.
A little backstory: I’ve been a big fan of Chimaira over the years. I went to some of their very first shows, including one with Zao at Peabody’s Down Under in the Flats. I watched their rise in the NWOAHM scene with a sense of pride as a fellow Clevelander.
December 21, 2013: Chimaira Christmas at The Agora Ballroom
The day of the shoot arrives. Excited as I was, I still had the wherewithal to charge my batteries and pack all of my gear the night before. I didn’t want any screwups. I arrived to the venue at 1pm, as the band was setting up and about to soundcheck. I was immediately and warmly greeted by Alex, Mark and the rest of the band. Alex introduced me to a couple more cinematographers he brought with him, and we got to work planning out our shots and camera placement. Once everything was planned out, we hung out and talked shop while the band finished their soundcheck and did the VIP meet & greets.
The opening bands finished their sets, and it was finally time for Chimaira. Alex, my fellow cinematographers and I went through some final checks and took up our respective spots. I was responsible for filming stage right and left, making sure to get plenty of coverage to give the editor plenty to cut from. Chimaira tore through a blistering set full of songs from every era of the band. At the end of the set, we offloaded our cards and looked at some of the footage, which looked pretty fantastic. Exhausted from intense concentration and my legs were shaking from crouching so much, I said my goodbyes and crawled into bed at 4am.
A photo posted by Alex Morgan (@alexmorganimaging) on
It was a huge honor to work on this project with Chimaira; an experience I’ll never forget. I’m honored they chose me as part of the project.
Mark Hunter – Vocals
Emil Werstler – Guitar
Matt Szlachta – Guitar
Jeremy Creamer – Bass
Austin D’Amond – Drums
Sean Zatorsky – Keyboards